Friday, September 3, 2010

First Fig



The Wenches have been anxiously awaiting the moment when we’ll be able to pick our first fig. We’ve been waiting almost TWO years for this! Last summer we had a few figs but we lost our meager crop to the birds because we weren’t smart enough to net our little tree. This year we made sure to put the net on early! That’s Mugsy keeping an eye on the ONE mature fig. But it’s not quite ready yet. And you shouldn’t pick figs until they are perfectly ripe as they won’t ripen any further after they’ve been picked.

How do you know when it’s time? In Spanish we say that the fig is ready when it has the neck of a hanged man, the clothes of a poor one, and the eye of a widow.


The neck of a hanged man means that the stem has begun to dry out and the fig begins to droop. We have drooping!


The clothes of a poor man means that the skin of the fig has begun to wrinkle. We have wrinkling!


And the eye of a widow means that when you open up the fig it “weeps” a drop of syrupy sweetness.  We have weeping!

Our first fig was absolutely worth the wait!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Who needs patio furniture anyway?

We realized last summer that we hardly ever sat on the patio because it was too hot and sunny. Also, our patio is right in line with our neighbor’s deck so we don’t have much privacy. So we moved the table and chairs to a relatively flat section of the lawn under the shade of the cherry tree. Then we filled the patio with pots of berries, herbs, vegetables and flowers.


Now we have a mixture of edibles and ornamentals as well as plants to attract pollinators and plants needing pollinators.


Between the herbs and flowers, we have lots of bees.


Here’s a close up. Look at all that pollen!

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Last summer we had fabulous eggplants. So we tried again this year. Unfortunately, it’s been so cool this summer, I’m not sure we’re going to have any eggplants. The flowers only appeared last week.


On a whim (and after feeling giddy about our eggplant success last year), we decided to try melons in the Earthbox this year. Well they sure are vining out over the herbs and reaching for the garden bed!


Wait!  What’s that in Curmdugeon’s hand? A baby melon! Come on little one!  Grow! Grow!


We finally wised up and put bird netting over the fig tree, strawberries, and blueberries, which are all growing in pots on the patio. Now we are harvesting a bit of fruit for ourselves – not just losing it all to the birds and other varmints.  Here’s today’s harvest of ‘Sunshine Blue’ blueberries and ‘Seascape’ strawberries.

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So we have flowers and fruit, herbs and vegetables, lots of bees, and even hummingbirds visiting the salvia and agastache. Why on earth would we want patio furniture here?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Thank goodness for perennials!

With the crazy fluctuating weather this spring, and the many diversions provided by Facebook, we have not spent very much time in the gardens so far this year. Fortunately, the shade garden is filled with perennials. So we have blooms and foliage -– all with little or no effort on our part!

The centerpiece of the shade garden is the old-fashioned bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis).  Previous gardeners planted it, but we have enjoyed it for years now.


Another beauty (and source of pride and joy) is our Hellebore ‘Mardi Gras Black.’

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Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis) is blooming much earlier this year. I wonder if we will still have some for May 1st for Curmudgeon’s French class?


In another part of the shade garden, the dainty white flowered anemones  (Anemone nemorosa) continue to spread and bloom beautifully against a backdrop of Heuchera ‘Plum Pudding’ and an evergreen fern.


Here’s a little texture and form to go with the blooms in the shade garden.




Overhead in the shade garden, the lilacs are blooming. Sigh…


The sunny patio also has beautiful blooms now. The golden leopard’s bane (Doronicum) explodes from its pot.


The irises beside the house look so much healthier and happier since Curmudgeon divided them last fall.


Here is a new iris waiting to be planted. As soon as I unloaded it from the truck, I knew one would come home with me.


Since it’s purple, Curmudgeon approved of this new addition.  :-)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Believe it or not…

It is possible to have sunny days in Seattle, even in the winter!  You may be skeptical, but here’s the proof!  Ta Da!


This was the view of Seattle and Lake Union from Gas Works Park this afternoon.  People were out and about, enjoying the great weather. This hill is a favorite spot for kite flying.


For our friends who visited recently and missed ‘The Mountain’ –- Mount Rainier in all its majesty --  here it is!



These photos were taken in Kerry Park in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle. On the left, you can see the iconic Space Needle.

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Here you can see the red cranes of Harbor Island where the cargo ships are unloaded.


Looking westward, we snapped this picture of the Olympic Mountains a few minutes before sunset.

It was a beautiful day!  Sigh… See why we love it here?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine’s Day

Wing Nut, will you be my Valentine?